PrePress Equipment

Your Stop for Name Brand PrePress Equipment

Prepress sounds actually like its name – all of the steps or equipment you need to engage with before you start using your prepress. The screen printing process doesn’t immediately start with ink meeting t-shirt or garment. To help you achieve better prepress practices, Garston offers a variety of different screen printing equipment – from exposure units to washout boots to automatic screen coating machines. No matter what you are looking for, we’ve got a solution.

Shop Our Individual PrePress Equipment:

Automatic Screen Coating Machine

Working in tandem, the M&R Uni-Kote Automatic Screen Coating Machine will coat both the front and rear of your screen without the assistance of an operator. This low-cost, reliable equipment has different settings. You can either have the coaters work simultaneously or coat each side separately as well as just one side.

Coating your screens is an important prepress step in screen printing. Using an automated machine, helps to speed up the process.

Washout Booths

Before you begin printing any screens, you first need to prepare your screens, and a washout booth is a great place to start.

For instance, this Chemical Consultant washout booth lets the operator have a cleaner, drier environment. Good for both prepress use and reclaiming, a washout booth is a must have. They hold up against daily washing, emulsion and ink reclamation. Models with built in drying racks also allow for safe storage of screens.

Custom to the screen printing process, you need to first expose your screens before placing them on an automated or manual press.

NuArc’s First Light model is great for beginners or those who lean toward tabletop exposure units. We also have a variety of other exposure units, small and large, that could beneficial to your shop. Having the right exposure for your screens and emulsion is crucial to screen printing and before you use your screen printing press.

*All of our Prepress equipment is special order and must be ordered over the phone. If you are looking for a particular model, you can also contact us to see if we have it in our extensive inventory.

Have a Question? Need a Quote?

Choosing the right Prepress equipment is important. You wouldn’t automatically start printing on your prepress before you’ve completed all the correct preparation. If you have a model you are interested in or would like some assistance, give us a call for more information.

Why Garston for Direct To Garment Printers?

affordable pricing

Affordable Prices

Keeping up with all of the new screen printing technology can be overwhelming. But, here at Garston we keep our prices low and our products high-quality.

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Customer Satisfaction

To keep all of our customers satisfied, we always go the extra mile and provide you with the necessary information and guidance.

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Name Brand Products

Looking for products you can trust? Here at Garston, we only provide the best, well-respected and affordable name brands.

Necessary Pre-Press Equipment for Screen Printing

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Drying Racks

You can either purchase a manufactured drying rack or create one of your own. Either way, you need a spot for your screens to lay horizontally after you coat your emulsion and its in the drying stage.


Exposure Units

When it’s time for your screens to be exposed, always after applying emulsion, you’ll need a piece of equipment called an exposure unit. All of this needs to happen before your screen hits the press.

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Washout Station

You’ll need a washout station and water source to rinse out your screen after exposure as well as reclaiming your screen after a press run.

Screen Printing PrePress Preparation

A majority of screen printers focus on perfecting their own screen printing operations. This includes having the right off-contact, squeegee angle and pressure as well as ensuring the right exposure time. When it comes to setting up an accurate press run, it all starts with pre-press operations.

You need to find the best products that work well for your shop and your budget. On another note, a darkroom is highly important for prepress.

Prepping Your Screens

Before starting the exposure of your screens, you need to perform two different checks. The first is to make sure you have a humidity gauge somewhere in your dark room. Having a humid dark room is imperfect conditions for your emulsions. By having the right temperature and humidity levels, you’ll have your emulsion stick better to your screens and dry thoroughly. You also need to make sure your screens are taut and have the correct amount of tension, otherwise they’ll cause blurry prints and poor registration.

After ensuring the accuracy of your dark room and screens, you need to make sure your screens are absent of dirt and dust. Use degreaser for cleaning as well as adhering your emulsions. First focus on adding emulsion the side of the screen that will come in contact with your substrate, working from top to bottom with a scoop coater. You must also correctly dry your screens in a horizontal position, and you can place your rack in a washout station.

The next phase includes exposing your screens, which can be done with an exposure unit.

Prepping Your Machines

Another good step in the Prepress process is to always check your machines. You might be using your machine all day long, but you should make adjustments between each screen printing run.

Once you’ve finished all of these steps including proper exposure of your screens and prepping each machine, you can start your screen printing run! Remember, the best way to begin any project is to have the correct setup. Don’t skip out on using all of the different kinds of prepress machines that will help you transition easily to using your screen printing press.

PrePress FAQ

Why Do I Need An Exposure Unit?

Exposing your screens is a crucial step in the screen printing process. You could go outside and try and use natural sunlight for exposure, but you can’t rely on the sunlight. You don’t have control over the temperature or how long you will need to leave the screen. Instead of making it a hassle, invest in an exposure unit to avoid underexpose screens. These helpful, affordable units help you create high quality artwork and produce high quality screens.

Is it Important to Prep Ink?

Preparation for your ink will depend on what kind of ink you use in your shop. One of the best ways to prep your ink is to use a color matching system and a pantone guide. By using a color matching system, you’ll be able to mix your own colors to achieve your desired match. When you try to combine inks, you will need to mix them. You can do this manually with screen printing tools or you can utilize a ink mixer in your prepress process.

Why Do I Need to Degrease My Mesh? 

Some screen printers don’t invest in good quality degreasing products. By finding the right degreasers, you’ll spend less time worrying about the washout process. By using a degreaser, your emulsion will adhere better to the mesh during the exposure process. You also can’t forget to degrease both sides of your frame (seeing that they both hold contaminants). You also need to correct dry your screens either in a washout booth or with a conveyor or flash dryer.

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Honest, Fair Prices on all PrePress Equipment

Having the correct setup in your screen printing shop will ensure better accuracy during the screen printing process. Don’t skip out on any of the necessary equipment to ensure the best possible outcome. If you have questions on any prepress equipment, reach out to us here at Garston.